It happens every two years. I watch the Olympics and think, “I wonder what it would be like to be that focused on anything?”
I’m not an athlete. I don’t pretend to be. I look the other way during part of the ski jumping because I’m afraid of heights. I get dizzy just watching skaters. And the thought on anything on a sled reminds me of the time I rode through oak branches.
But I still watch and I cheer and I think about focus and I forget for another two years.
It is too distant from me.
The other day I was thinking about the amount of advertising that we watch, inviting us to buy products that will fix our lives, make us popular, help us breathe as well as Olympic athletes with colds. And then I started thinking about what I do know how to do.
I am, I would guess, as intelligent as most ad executives, as capable with words as most ad copywriters.
So do I spend as much energy listening to people I care about and offering answers that matter to questions that are important as Coke or DayQuil or Rose City Motors spend selling pop or medicine or cars?
I do focus sometimes, for short bursts. And when I do, you can tell. So can I. But most often, I don’t. Most people don’t.
I’m not suggesting that we need a new advertising campaign for Jesus. Bumper stickers like “He’s the real thing” or “God’s Gym” or “Jesus died for MYSPACE in heaven” cover that quite well.
But what if I spent the next hour thinking carefully about one question from one person and then answering it well and honestly? Just one question. With every element of focus I can bring.
And then did it again. And then did it again.
It won’t be the Olympics. It won’t be audiences of millions. But it is in my sport. And it uses how I’m built. And it will be life-transforming. At least for me.
And what about you? Forget the skates. What is the thing you do best?
For the next hour.